Showing posts from May, 2019

Stewart School Blues

Most days I walk about 3 blocks down Wilson Avenue to and from work. This brief trek through Uptown reveals so much celebration and tragedy! It screams of community and gentrification, compassion and violence, activism and discrimination, trauma and elation! You have to close your eyes tight to remain neutral on such a street! 

The street tells countless stories: I walk out of my building to see a few apartments occupied by those once homeless. I've watched an abandoned Burger King turn into an expensive glass high-rise. I’ve marched with other protesters over our authorities trying to prevent people from feeding and giving shelter to the poor. I’ve seen developments rapidly grow before my eyes. I’ve seen the friendly embrace of friends and the beauty of forgiveness. I’ve been watching the tragic gutting and destruction of the Wilson Men’s Hotel, causing a new and traumatic path of homelessness and loneliness. I’ve had people dangle their keys in front of me, proudly revealing thei…

Crazy, Not Stupid!

He beat his chest! He bugged out his eyes! He howled into the sky, and yelled as loud as he could “I’m crazy, crazzzzzyyyy! I’m the craziest man in Uptown!” He would follow that by laughing hysterically, with one of the loudest and most distinctive laughs you’d ever hear. He had a laugh that would turn heads on a whole city block. It wasn't something you could ignore, it would either cause terror or amusement to everyone in earshot. 

Then, all of a sudden he'd stop! He’d stop beating his chest. He’d stop laughing. He'd stop yelling. His whole demeanor would dramatically change. His gigantic smile disappeared behind a hard, angry and penetrating glare. He’d barely blink and stare straight into my eyes and say, “I may be crazy, but don’t ever call me stupid. I ain’t stupid!” 
After making his point he’d switch back to smiling and being his usual loud, hyped up emotional self. 

I’ve heard and seen Shaun do a variety of his “I’m crazy, not stupid” routine many times! He was dead …